Prince Harry spoke at the High Court in London on Tuesday in his trial against a tabloid publisher.
Dressed in a navy blue suit and dark purple tie, he entered the witness box and took the oath on the Bible, placed under his father’s coat of arms.
Arrived at the modern wing of the Royal Courts of Justice, he got out of a black Range Rover. At 10:28 a.m., he went to Court 15.
As the paparazzi aimed to capture every expression on Harry’s face, a crowd of people gathered outside, protesting his actions and booing him.
Someone even swore at him, urging him to return to California and avoid causing trouble in their peaceful country.
The treatment Harry received showed that he was viewed unfavourably. People seemed to regard him as obnoxious, as if he was only there to stir up controversy. Some have suggested he should wear a sandwich board proclaiming “I am not Harry” for his own safety.
Faced with the very real prospect of being booed by the British public during the legal proceedings, Harry must have felt immense frustration.
He probably felt that the outcome of the case would not be in his favor. The consequences of his actions against the monarchy and his perceived betrayal of the Queen were catching up with him, resulting in his isolation and shunning by many.
To return to the case itself, Prince Harry did not show up on the scheduled day, Monday, for the trial. He and more than 100 others were suing the Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), which publishes the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, over allegations of widespread wrongdoing between 1991 and 2011.
However, on Tuesday and Wednesday, he will face hours of cross-examination from Andrew Green, MGN’s lawyer, regarding 33 newspaper articles allegedly based on illegally obtained information. It made him the first member of the British royal family to give evidence in court in 130 years.
Before his cross-examination began, Prince Harry confirmed that he was initially to be addressed as “Your Royal Highness”, and then his personal preference was to be called “Prince Harry”. When asked if he remembered having read any of the articles in question at the time of their publication, he did not specifically recall having read them.
Mr. Green then asked how and when these articles caused him distress, given that he did not recall reading them. In response, Harry mentioned that the majority of the articles had been read by people around him and that their behavior around him had changed accordingly. He was informed about some articles, and the discovery of the illegal methods used to obtain information shocked him.
Throughout his life, Prince Harry said he experienced hostility from the press. When asked if he felt any hostility towards the media, he answered in the affirmative.
The MGN trial began the month before, with lawyers for Prince Harry and other plaintiffs aiming to prove that the unlawful newsgathering occurred with the knowledge and approval of editors and executives.
Harry’s case was one of four test cases, and the first three days of this week focused on his specific allegations. However, his absence on Monday surprised Judge Timothy Fencourt. Harry had only recently left the United States, where he now resides with his wife Meghan, as it was their daughter Lila BET’s birthday on Sunday.
The events unfolding in court have highlighted ongoing tensions between Prince Harry and the media, as he repeatedly accused his family and their aides of colluding with tabloids to improve their own reputations at his expense. These disputes have also been the subject of his memoir, a Netflix documentary series and other television interviews.